With one minute left and one timeout, how did Jimmy Garoppolo kind of make it look easy.
“You’ll have to ask him, but it was definitely easier calling those plays too. He just went right down. It was fun. He looked poised as can be. We walk through it every day. You never really get full speed reps during the season at two minutes. Guys are just too tired. That was a great drive at the end.”
It went from having eight minutes left to all of a sudden having to manage the clock. It seemed like the blink of an eye. Did you almost have to rub your eyes on the sideline?
“Yeah, it’s different. You’re nervous about getting down there, then all of a sudden you get down there and you want to run the clock out. It’s stuff you work on a lot. You just always do a walk-through type tempo. It was fun to pull one off live.”
What’s being built here? What are we seeing happening here, you think?
“Well, I’ve just been most proud of our guys being able to not let adversity affect them. I feel like that’s affected us a lot throughout this year. In these last three games, by no means at all have they been perfect. We’ve had lulls in all three phases at sometimes. We’ve had some bad penalties. Had some real bad times. We’ve had some turnovers at some inopportune times. But, guys just stayed the same throughout the game. They haven’t let it get to them. I think they’ve been pretty resilient and they fought ‘til the end. I think it’s one of the reasons we pulled out four of our last five.”
Have you seen a better game from a kicker than K Robbie Gould and what do you think about his season?
“I think Robbie’s playing as good as anyone I’ve had. When he goes out there, I never think he’s going to miss it. He’s been automatic. I’m glad he’s not getting too fatigued. I wish we didn’t have to use him so much. I wish we were scoring touchdowns more, but the fact that every time we don’t he makes it. He’s been unbelievable this year.”
You mentioned him making it easier for you to call plays. Are you finding your rhythm as a play caller in these last three games with Jimmy?
“Yeah, I was just joking about that too. Yeah, Jimmy is a lot of it, but it’s also everyone. When you can stay out there longer that’s how you get in a rhythm. If you look at the stat sheet, which I just did before I came in, we didn’t run the ball very well in terms of yards per carry. But, we were still able to get a number of runs called. When you do that, today it was because of how good we did on third down and you stay on the field and you have a bunch of long drives and that’s easiest for me to get in a rhythm. When we get a number of plays and you actually have a chance to set somethings up and get them a little bit off balance and that’s when it gets fun. It’s tough when you go three-and-out.”
I was going to say, your team seems to be just completely, not relaxed, but so confident with this guy at quarterback. You talked a little bit about that. Can you just expand on what that means after what you went through earlier this season?
“Yeah, I think when you win, you get more confidence. You’d like to say you can talk yourself into it, but that happens from experiencing success. We got our first win verse the Giants. I thought our team was real confident going into that Bye Week and pretty excited. When we came back, that’s what’s so disappointing about that Seattle game. I thought that was one of our harder losses this year and then we went to Chicago and we ended up kicking five field goals, or whatever it was, which you’re not totally ecstatic about, but we ended up coming off and winning that game and it led to Houston. And, I thought we got better verse Houston. I thought we were better today. Obviously, the guys believe in Jimmy and they know he can make some plays. I think everyone can see that. They’re all beliving in each other too and they’ve gotten better each week.”
Can you talk a little about WR Kendrick Bourne in the game today?
“Yeah, I was real happy for Kendrick. Kendrick, he got a late start here. Missing all of OTAs with his semester scheduling, came in during training camp. Was really on the outside looking in for a while, because it just took him a while to pick it up having such a late start. But, he was a guy we were scared to lose, so we kept him on our roster instead of putting him on practice squad and took him a while to get ready and then once we lost [WR] Pierre [Garçon] he had to be ready. He’s gotten better each week. He’s made some big plays for us. He did a great job today beating man coverage and made some plays after the catch. I was real happy for him. He’s been working real hard all year to get into this situation.”
Does your confidence in Robbie have to do with why you ran on second down there at the end as opposed to throwing it with one timeout?
“Yeah, definitely. I feel Robbie is going to make it there. We did throw once. We took a shot to [WR Marquise] Quise [Goodwin] on the go. You never know what you’re gonna get, but you also don’t want to threaten getting a holding call or anything like that. A lot of bad stuff can happen. We took our shot with that one pass and we knew we were good before that play and after we didn’t get that, we decided to run it and see if we can get a little bit more and Robbie came on and did his job.”
Do you have a yardage number for Robbie, do you think 50?
“Yeah, usually that 35 (yardline) area is where we’re going. We’ll attempt it there. If need be, which you would on the last play of the game obviously, but 30 is the spot I feel the best about.”
Marquise Goodwin was having issues early in the season with dropping passes. 10-of-13 today on targets, he’s averaging over 100 yards a game the last three. Can you talk about what Marquise meant to the offense once Jimmy got here?
“Yeah, Marquise has been unbelievable. I think he’s made a huge jump throughout this year. We put a lot of pressure on Quise going into this year. He had never started before and we brought him here to do that for us. He had some up and down times at the beginning. By no means would I say he played bad, but he just wasn’t as consistent. He’s fought through that and anytime you see guys who go out there and they get the pressure of starting, all of them are going to have some successes and some failures. It’s just, how do they respond to it. I’ve been real impressed with Quise because as you guys can all see in this second half of the year, especially with Pierre down, he’s really taken a lot on his shoulders. He’s been through a lot and he’s responded well. You guys see it on the field. We see it in practice throughout the week. He’s turned into a true pro and he’s playing like a legit starter.”
So, you want to stay with the run game just to give Jimmy a little balance, also a little more time possible with the play action?
“Yeah, both. We always try to be 50/50 in normal situations with first and second down, and non-second and long, and non-two minute situations. That’s always our goal and whether you’re doing it good or not, that’s the goal because it helps everyone. Not just the quarterback, but the offensive line. It gets the receivers some better looks. Even when you’re not running it well, if you have confidence in how you’re going to do on third down and things like that, you still try your hardest to stick with it, which is a challenge for a play caller. But, you try your hardest because if you become one dimensional verse any team in this league it makes it very difficult.”
How is LB Reuben Foster doing?
“I think he just got a stinger. I didn’t get a chance to go (and talk to him), but I know he came out for one play and he was back in the next.”
Having Jimmy out there and starting three games, I know he doesn’t have many NFL starts, but it doesn’t seem like he’s the type of a guy that is a rookie, in the sense that he studied so much. What does that mean to you to be able to coach a guy who came here from a system that is obviously the best in football?
“It’s been great so far. You never know until you get out there. I studied him a ton on tape from college and the limited games he had played in the NFL, so that’s all you can go off of, except you talk to people and you hear things. He’s always looked good on tape in those few games, or those one-and-a-half games, some preseason games. You hope to see that each week, but you never know until you start to play. He’s been just as good as advertised if not better. I’ve really enjoyed working with him and I’ve enjoyed gameday with him. It gets a little bit easier for both of us each week and hopefully that will continue.”
Is there anything he’s done that’s unusual, where you’re kind of like ‘Woah, I expected maybe this would happen, but--'?
“Yeah, just some of the off schedule plays he’s made have been pretty impressive. There’s been a couple times where especially earlier on, where he ends up looking the wrong way where you think it’s going to be a rough outcome and he ends up just finding a way still to make a play even when he’s a little bit unsure. I think when you have that arm talent and can make quick decisions, he’s always got a chance.”
What do you attribute the yards-per-carry to this game?
“Going against a good defense. I think they are pretty good against the run. I want to say they blitzed us more today than, I want to say than I’ve ever been blitzed in my career and definitely more than I’ve seen on tape from them. Going against [Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator] Dick [LeBeau] for a long time, so they had a bunch of run blitzes, which makes you beat your head against a wall a lot. And when you do that, if you stick with it, you hope to eventually crease through there and get a long one and then that changes everything. But, if you never get that long one going against some tough looks, that’s going to be the result.”
What kind of explanation did you get on the offensive pass interference?
“They told me they thought he was blocking down field.”
From a personal standpoint, I’m just curious to know if you had much conversation with you dad after these games? Do you get feedback from him? Does he give you suggestions? Obviously, you grew up on his knee, watching this game.
“My relationship with my dad has really has been the same since I’ve played football going back to high school. That’s something him and I talk about all the time, whether I was a high school or college player or a quality control, position coach, coordinator. I enjoy talking football with my parents and he definitely knows a little bit, so it helps for me to talk to him too.”
Will you have a conversation with him after today’s game and talk about--?
“Possibly. Depends on what time we get home. Hopefully we’ll be celebrating a little bit tonight, but eventually I’ll get to it. If not, I’ll definitely have some missed calls for tomorrow.”
Garoppolo’s demeanor from a far seems to be pretty cool in most situations, on field, off field. What’s your observation?
“I agree. He’s very composed. Doesn’t seem too high or too low. I think for the quarterback position, there’s a lot of thinking involved. You’ve got to stay poised under pressure. You’ve got a lot of guys coming after you too, so you need the grit to hang in there and everything, but there’s a lot of thinking that’s involved and sometimes you get a little too amped up and your brain doesn’t work quite as well. He does a great job of balancing both.”